Behind-the scenes Torness tour for Edinburgh students
A group of female students from Edinburgh College have been given an insight into the world of engineering during a visit to Torness power station.
The group of 20 girls went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the power station taking in areas not usually accessible to the public including the turbine hall and the cooling water intake. They were also able to stand on the top of one of the reactors which generates enough low-carbon electricity for 1 million homes and heard from some of the female engineers who work at the power station.
The visit is part of the power station’s drive to encourage more females to apply for their apprenticeship programme. The four-year training opportunity sees apprentices spend the first two years at the National College for Nuclear in Somerset where they learn basic engineering skills in their first year, before specialising in their trade in the second year.
They also get opportunities to travel both in the UK and abroad as part of the ‘life skills’ element of the apprenticeship programme before completing the final two years back at Torness power station.
At the moment just one in four people working in STEM careers in Scotland is a woman and in engineering there is an estimated shortfall of people with the right skills of up to 59,000 a year.
Station Director, Robert Gunn, said: “I’m delighted we were able to welcome this group from Edinburgh College to Torness. We’re currently accepting applications for our engineering maintenance apprentice programme so I’m keen that we take any chance to help young women see what careers are available and how they could benefit.
“Everyone who came along seemed to have a great time and hopefully we’ve given them something to think about when it comes to making career choices in the future.”
Lynsey Kemp, Curriculum Leader at Edinburgh College, said: “It was great to see so many female students from both Science and Engineering come together for this visit. The event gave us the unique opportunity to meet with female engineers and experience areas of the site they work in daily. We also were able to hear from former apprentices who have successfully completed their qualification to gain insight into the opportunities available with EDF Energy”.
To apply for an apprenticeship you need to have five National 5s including English, maths and two science or technical subjects. You can find out more about the apprenticeship programme, and enter your application, at: www.edfenergy.com/careers.